Being discreet is an important part of my job. I hear a lot of conversations that are clearly private and confidential, but my passengers’ secrets are always safe with me.
In early March, I was driving a woman from her home to Newark Airport. She seemed frazzled when she got into my SUV. She was shuffling papers and making business phone calls.
I couldn’t help but hear her conversations because her phone calls were on speakerphone. Her first call went like this: “Hi there. I wanted to call to tell you that your bonus this year will be $220,000.”
The person on the other end replied calmly. “Thank you.”
I thought to myself, “I want to work for HER!”
Her next phone call went like this: “Hey, I just wanted you to know your bonus will be $80,000.”
The person on the other end replied with an enthusiastic, “Oh, wow, that’s unbelievable. Thank you SO much!”
I thought to myself, how ironic it was that the second person who received a third of what the first person received was three times happier and more grateful than the first person. Life is so funny.
About a year ago, I picked up an executive at his Manhattan office one afternoon. As soon as he got in, he immediately made a phone call that went like this: “Hi, Honey. I’m sorry, but I have to work late again tonight. Yes, it’s for a presentation to win a major account. I’ll be home late. I love you, too. Bye.”
Right after that, he made another call that went like this: “Hi, Baby. I’ll meet you at the restaurant at 6:00. I got us a room at that place you like. We’ll have a good time tonight. Love you so much, Baby.”
Yikes! I didn’t say a word. He jumped out of my car as soon as I pulled up to the restaurant.
About two years ago, I picked up two executives from their office and was driving them to Kennedy Airport. They were having a conversation about looming layoffs.
“Which one should we let go?” one asked.
“I think we need to let a few go because business is down so much,” the other one said.
Finally, they agreed they were going to fire three employees. I felt so bad for those poor three souls who were about to be fired. They probably didn’t expect this surprise.
The moral of this Street Story is this: Always be discreet and respectful of private conversations your passengers are having. They are not only trusting you to safely drive them to their destination; they’re also trusting you to keep their information private.